Re: [PATCH] make st seekable again

From: Bill Davidsen
Date: Thu Mar 10 2005 - 12:26:16 EST

On Thu, 10 Mar 2005, Arjan van de Ven wrote:

> > critical user data.
> >
> > In other words, it should work correctly or not at all. At the least this
> > should be a config option, like UNSAFE_TAPE_POSITIONING or some such.
> > And show the option if the build includes BROKEN features. That should put
> > the decision where it belongs and clarify the possible failures.
> CONFIG_SECURITY_HOLES doesn't make sense.
> Better to just fix the security holes instead.

I think you're an idealist. If this were something other than tar it would
be simple, and you would be right. Well, you ARE right, but a change which
breaks tar, which many sites use for backups, is really not practical,
without a loophole until tar gets fixed. And as Alan noted, keeping track
of the physical position is very hard, and getting a tar fix might take a

None of the choices is good; I see:
- leave it the way it is
- fix the hole and break tar
- wait for FSF to fix tar, then fix the hole
- try to fix it without breaking tar, which may not be really possible
and could leave part of the problem and still break tar somehow
- fix it, and leave the admin a way to build a kernel with the hole other
than just reverting the fix

I proposed the last, I won't cry if no one else likes it, it just seemed
realistic for people who don't use certain features of tar.

bill davidsen <davidsen@xxxxxxx>
CTO, TMR Associates, Inc
Doing interesting things with little computers since 1979.

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